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07-19-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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the middle ground and compromise - E-P1

Just to ponder the competition...

First, visual between E-P1 and K20d (apologies for even more indoor lousy light photos)







As you can see it is smaller than a dSLR, but it sill is a fair bit bigger than DLux4 (or equivalent) p&s. The big difference is that the body shape is very different, so it presents one with either an advantage(s) or disadvantage(s) wrt ergos. It isn't a real light camera - metal construction (though a cheap plastic batter and port door) and substantial. The lens is tiny and light (plastic - boo). Shown is the 43ltd that I hope to mount to it with a u4/3-K adapter.

More confusing menus than the Pentax, but that is a particular strength of Pentax imho. Lots of customizability but some on the Oly isn't intuitive and I had to actually rtfm.

I had hoped that this camera would be a "middle ground" between dSLR and p&s. And so far that is exactly what it is. It gets noisy above iso200, but I like the grain size/shape when it does. The 17mm has barrel distortion (boo) that is corrected in jpg in-camera (yeah) but not in raw (boo). The vibe is very old-school, and it doesn't announce it's presence in public like a dSLR does - a big plus for how I shoot. It also gets a somewhat surreal look at high iso at night - again something that I like. The raw files are not nearly as clean and nice as the K20d - but again, I'm looking for something different.

Bottom line is that it is a very different camera, with a different feel and look. I've shot some of the same subjects with my DLux4, E-P1 and K20d. All look different. And that is great. And that being said, next purchase will be a K7, as I now think I "get" how that will work for me. But not as a replacement for the K20d...

Some shots with the E-P1/17 setup at night (AF, iso 1600)









And some during the day (with associated crop - in-camera jpg with no pp)














Last edited by nostatic; 07-19-2009 at 05:00 PM.
07-19-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
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It is an interesting camera.

The thing keeping me from getting one is that I'd want some sort of viewfinder that tells me what's going on with focusing be it manual or automatic. If I could just have a center point marker in the add-on viewfinder and a little light that flashes somewhere visible when things are in focus that'd make a big difference.
07-19-2009, 05:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
It is an interesting camera.

The thing keeping me from getting one is that I'd want some sort of viewfinder that tells me what's going on with focusing be it manual or automatic. If I could just have a center point marker in the add-on viewfinder and a little light that flashes somewhere visible when things are in focus that'd make a big difference.
In AF mode you can have a beep and you get a green dot. I have the OVF but that is only for framing - there is no focus information. When you do MF, once you touch the MF ring on the lens you can get a 7x or 10x magnification on the LCD. It works quite well and I've been able to do some fine focus work (in fact easier than through the OVF of the K20d). The downside is that if it is really bright the screen can wash out for focus work. But in bright light, AF works like a charm (and in fact in low light it is fine in my hands).

In low light the lcd display can get pretty noisy, but the resulting image is fairly clean. It is just a different way of shooting...
07-19-2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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If you set the center focusing point, are you able to pretty much use the OVF and rely on the focusing beep and get the results you'd expect?

07-19-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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And relative to the DLux4



07-19-2009, 05:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
If you set the center focusing point, are you able to pretty much use the OVF and rely on the focusing beep and get the results you'd expect?
Yup. Though I don't think I'll ever use the OVF much, as I'm used to framing from LCD. But that certainly will work. And it will look quite retro.



One thing is that the K7 has a much quieter shutter than the E-P1.
07-19-2009, 06:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pingflood Quote
It is an interesting camera.

The thing keeping me from getting one is that I'd want some sort of viewfinder that tells me what's going on with focusing be it manual or automatic. If I could just have a center point marker in the add-on viewfinder and a little light that flashes somewhere visible when things are in focus that'd make a big difference.
Yes, call me old fashioned, but I can't see buying a camera that lacks a viewfinder..... I hate that trend. Let's hope it doesn't carry over to DSLRs! Too bad, because besides that I love the esthetics of the new Olympus.
07-19-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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Can you turn the shutter noise off?

QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Yup. Though I don't think I'll ever use the OVF much, as I'm used to framing from LCD. But that certainly will work. And it will look quite retro.



One thing is that the K7 has a much quieter shutter than the E-P1.


07-19-2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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E-P1 looks very nice with this prime. With zoom lens it looks awkward though, not to mention it becomes not compact at all
07-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Votesh Quote
Can you turn the shutter noise off?
Nope. There is a real shutter (focal plane) and it goes close (after AF)/open (to start exposure)/close (to stop exposure)/open (to enable liveview).

A few more with feeling. As I said above, you get more noise in the file than with K20d, but it has its own look and feel. These are in-camera jpg with minor pp.





07-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edvinas Quote
E-P1 looks very nice with this prime. With zoom lens it looks awkward though, not to mention it becomes not compact at all
Yeah, it also is very different handling for MF. I'm probably going to get one of these:



Where this camera is finding a lot of popularity is with rangefinder guys as there are adapters either currently out or coming soon for most every mount. "Poor man's M8" is the current mantra.
07-20-2009, 01:09 AM   #12
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The E-P1 looks really nice. Saw a guy using it this way yesterday:



Talked to him briefly, he's complaining that the camera was too small and light for his 50-200mm lens
07-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #13
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I bought this little gem (Pen?) a week ago and I've really enjoyed it. I bought it as my P&S killer and that's what it does. It's only marginally larger than my G9, and image quality is nearly as good as my K20D (and usually indistinguishable). The Pen with the 17mm pancake is very pocketable, and the zoom isn't that big (though it does fill a cargo pocket on my shorts).

I really don't mind the lack of viewfinder as the LCD is good (even in the bright Texas sun) and I'm used to composing that way with all my P&S cameras from the past. In fact, I now have a custom diopter (my eyeglasses) to help me compose. Finally, I like having quick access to HD video in a normal (AVI) format. So for me, it's what I've been looking for to supplement my K20D kit.
07-22-2009, 07:10 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
The E-P1 looks really nice. Saw a guy using it this way yesterday:



Talked to him briefly, he's complaining that the camera was too small and light for his 50-200mm lens
This is a lot of fun, thanks
07-22-2009, 07:47 AM   #15
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Nice photo frank...
Went to a dinner party and saw one the guests shooting with it.
Tried it briefly and I walked away feeling that it was just a glorified higher spec PnS that's a transition camera between something like the Canon G10/Leica D-Lux and a DSLR.
But it is definitely not a DSLR replacement in my opinion.
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